By Larry Snyder
Monroeville, Pa. – Boxing followers from around the Steel City savored the Sweet Science Thursday, Aug. 1, as Lou DiBella and DiBella Entertainment in cooperation with Pinnacle Boxing Championships provided another top-shelf fight card at the Monroeville Convention Center.
DiBella Entertainment, along with matchmaker Dennis Turner, and Matt Leyshock of Pinnacle Fighting Championships provided 14 outstanding combatants, including two from the City of Bridges, the opportunity to demonstrate their hard-earned skills and attain career victories over seven matchups. It was part of DiBella’s Broadway Boxing Summer Series, called Night of the Contenders.
Ievgen Khytrov, fighting out of Brooklyn, New York by way of Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine, defeated 30-year-old southpaw Gabriel Pham to obtain the vacant World Boxing Council United States (USNBC) Super Middleweight title. For the 30-year-old Khytrov, it was his fifth win in his last six events.
Khytrov brought a no-nonsense, straight forward attack, mixing piercing jabs with sharp hooks to the head throughout the first five rounds. Pham, who hails from Atlantic City, NJ, supplied decent counters and movement, but it was not enough to entirely deter the barrage. The clash concluded at 2:38 of the sixth after Khytrov knocked Pham down for the third time in the same round with a convincing shot to the body.
Prepared to go eight rounds as a junior middleweight, Eric Walker picked up his second consecutive victory with a TKO at 1:28 of the fourth round when 30-year-old Jose Antonio Abreu from La Romana, Dominican Republic could not continue the contest after a potent exchange left him with an injured right hand.
Walker and Abreu maintained a solid give-and-take earlier in the match. Eventually, the 36-year-old Plaquemine, Louisiana native used stiff jabs to the body to slowly diminish Abreu’s vigor and set up for his persuasive overhand rights.
Looking Back On YouTube.com – EPIX (The Contender) – How Eric Walker Got His Nickname “Babyface Assassin”
Pittsburgh’s Bill Hutchinson claimed his eighth consecutive victory and his second straight by TKO with his second-round triumph over 31-year-old Charlie Serrano from Tampa, Florida. The 30-year-old Steel City lightweight seized upon every opening to deliver excruciating body blows that quickly took a cumulative toll. Hutch’s last barrage came in the center of the ring with a lefthand shot dropping Serrano to his knees.
Hutchinson spoke with Hunter Homistek of dkpittsburghsports.com (subscription service) after his win, “I knew I could hurt him. I knew that coming into it, but that was just kind of proof. When I touch him, I’m going to hurt him. To his credit, he covered up well and he was throwing some big shots. I was actually going to jump right on him, but he’s a veteran, he’s smart. He kept me at bay for a minute, so I just took a step back, set it back up.”
The veteran pugilist left the area after his Aug. 2017 knockout of Victor Abreu (9-6-0) at Rivers Casino. Since his return, Hutchinson assembled wins over Angel Hernandez (15-14-2) in May 2018 and Justin Savi (31-18-2) in August 2018 on World Fighting Championship cards at the Meadows Racetrack and Casino. He owns 10 victories in the Keystone State and seven in West Virginia.
Another warrior of the Burgh led off the evening’s lineup. Robert Weisen, 30, collected his first professional victory in his inaugural outing as a heavyweight against 29-year-old southpaw from Detroit, Dennis Vance, Jr. After four rounds, the split decision on the judge’s scorecards read 40-36, 40-36, 37-39. Boxing reporter Samuel McKibben thought “Weisen may have been more efficient with his punches.”
DiBella Entertainment/Pinnacle Boxing – Night Of The Contenders Results:
Super Middleweight – Ievgen Khytrov (19-2-0, 16 KO’s) Brooklyn, NY WINS By TKO At 2:38 Of Rnd 6 Vs Gabriel Pham (11-2-0, 5 KO’s) Atlantic City, NJ
Junior Middleweight – Eric Walker (19-2-0, 9 KO’s) Plaquemine, LA WINS By TKO At 1:28 Of Rnd 4 Vs Jose Antonio Abreu (14-6-0, 8 KO’s) La Romana, Dominican Republic
Lightweight – Bill Hutchinson (18-2-4, 9 KO’s) Pittsburgh, PA WINS By TKO Of Rnd 2 Vs. Charlie Serrano (16-5-2, 5 KO’s) Tampa, FL
Welterweight – Ivan Golub (17-1-0, 13 KO’s) Brooklyn, NY WINS By TKO At 1:52 Of Rnd 5 Vs. Joaquim Carneiro (25-11-0, 23 KO’s) San Paulo, Brazil
Super Lightweight – Victor Padilla (5-0-0, 5 KO’s) Berlin, NJ WINS By TKO At 1:12 Of Rnd 1 Vs. Benjamin Borteye (4-8-0, 4 KO’s) Silver Spring, MD
Heavyweight – Mike Balogun (14-0-0, 10 KO’s) Upper Marlboro, MD WINS By Unanimous Decision Vs. Ed Fountain (12-6-0, 5 KO’s) St. Louis, MO
Heavyweight – Robert Weisen (1-0-0) Pittsburgh, PA WINS By Split Decision Vs. Dennis Vance Jr. (1-1-0, 1 KO) Detroit, MI
Cornerman Clipboard: The evening was streamed live on UFC Fight Pass, one of the premier digital subscription services for devotees of combat sports. The former unified Middleweight World Champion from Youngstown, Ohio, Kelly Pavlik made his first appearance as a ringside commentator on this broadcast.
Both Khytrov and Walker were part of the 2018 season of The Contender on cable and satellite television network, Epix. Khytrov defeated Morgan Fitch (19-3-1, 8 KO’s) and Malcolm McAllister (9-3-0, 8 KO’s) before bowing out on a loss by unanimous decision to the eventual series winner, Brandon Adams (21-3-0, 13 KO’s).
When it was his time before the cameras, Walker beat the trio of John Jackson (21-4-0, 16 KO’s), John Thompson (19-4-0, 7 KO’s), and Michael Moore (17-3-0, 7 KO’s). His departure came on a loss by majority decision (48-46, 49-45, 47-47) to Adams.
From YouTube.com – The Arthur Moats Show – Pre-Fight Interview With Professional Boxer Bill “Hutch” Hutchinson…